Posted in 미분류

the unlikely family

“So you have now the earth, the water, and the sky in your room! Awesome!” That was my brother when I told him over the phone about my recent adoption of a parakeet from a Petco. The paroxysm of excitement catapulted me into the awareness of a reality that I did bring a bird—those small but sharp beaks and those wrinkled tarsi feet manifesting the atavistic characteristics of dinosaurs, particularly the T-Rex. The truth that I now have to cohabitate with the least-likely coveted descendent of T-Rex still swivels my head in wonderment as if the ghost of Alice in Wonderland possessed me. So why the bird then?

Dreaming of Sinbad and Serah

While there might be the remotest chance of using my parakeet as a divine medium to consult my future, I have recently brought Sera home with great expectation of making a friend with the lonely Toro. Toro is now one year and four months old, and his growing curiosity calls attention for a playmate to share his enthusiasm and vociferous nocturnal stamina. Of course, the kinship of feline presence is the best option to fulfill the requirement. Still, the existential circumstances of present life eliminate it. Hence the lot fell into a blue parakeet I named Sera after the talking bird Serah, a travel companion of Sinbad the Sailor, from my favorite childhood cartoon. As you can guess, Sera is a girl who spends most of her time in front of the mirror and then trills in high soprano like a pretty and prim starlet prima donna.

The crossed Sera befriends a reflection of loneliness.

My endless attempts to tame Sera to sit on my finger and her constant ignorance of my presence are both disheartening and ireful. Toro is a susceptible and timid cat who denied looking at dead fish by turning away his head from the sight. Even though Toro wishes no harm on his new friend Sera, who fastidiously avoids him with all her feathers and beaks, she defends herself from him with all her might. Toro looks at me with his large sad eyes full of liquid heartaches whenever the conflict occurs, and I comfort him in my arms. Sera then flaps her tiny pretty wings, returns to her castle, and ensconces herself on a twiggy perch with a loud and snappy chirping as a sign of victory over the feline Goliath.

I still don’t know if my decision to extra-species friendship is counterproductive amid Sera’s callous attitude toward Toro and me despite our apologies and continuous endeavor to reconcile with her. Perhaps I should not have taken Sera yet from the cage while she might have been still not familiarized with her new home. Still, there’s hope in my Pandora’s Box weaved in a rope of sparkling diamonds that promises a dazzling delight of trust and love filling the loneliness of the little hearts in our room. Who knows, one day Sera suddenly talks both Korean and English and tells me my todays and tomorrows? You never know.

Posted in Miscellany

On Aristotle and Philosopher’s Stone 💫⭐️✨

Edgar Allan Poe expressed his contempt for readers who habitually flocked to books by famous authors on the sheer merit of their popularity without an individual appreciation of the contents. Likewise, I have a handful of the famous, the great people whose celebrity I hold no regard as I am going to unveil now. I have never liked Isaac Newton, albeit his genius is doubtlessly uncontested. Cantankerous, bellicose Newton was horrible to deal with, especially when you were his servant or maid or whoever he thought insignificant in his Elysium of high intelligence. He was also a closet occultist masquerading with the face of Rational Man with long-faced gravitas adorned in a long wavy wig. So how come Newton became a votary of Aristotle, who took the virtues to be central to a well-lived life? Since I tend to disassociate any such persona non grata (Newton, obviously) from one in my high regard (that is, Aristotle), I wanted to find out the incompatibility of the sullen scientist and the benign thinker.

Aristotle’s ethics, or study of character, is constituted around the premise that people should achieve an excellent character as a prerequisite for living a meaningful life. It is an essence of metaphysics in which Aristotle holds that there must be a separate and unchanging being that is the source of other beings. Only by becoming excellent could one achieve eudaimonia, happiness/blessedness that constitutes the best kind of human life. This philosophical perspective also applies to the ideas of self-sufficiency by Ralph Waldo Emerson and of Amore fati, the intellectual love of life by Friedreich Nietzsche.

Emerson regarded two separate elements as being united to create the world inside of you for the former. They are raw experiences gained from somatic sensory stimulation transformed into ideas and thoughts in the realm of reason, a process akin to a caterpillar transforming mulberry leaves into gorgeous silk. Nietzsche’s Amore fati is theologically conceived in an attempt to manifest the presence of Providence or God’s will with his infallible existence through Immanence by which an adequate idea of simple attributes of formal essence of God is applied to an adequate knowledge of the simple truth of things. It might be akin to the Eureka moment when Archimedes started running naked around the town in the enthusiasm of knowing the weight of the gold in the king’s crown from his water-filled bathtub. Or it could be the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa captured by Bernini as a cherub was mischievously thrusting the arrow back and forth into the heart of the virgin. In sum, Aristotle was right in saying that knowledge isn’t innate or guaranteed prima facie but gained from the reports of the senses and logical inference from self-evident truth.

I still believe that someone like Newton had no regard for moral excellence any more than gaining the knowledge of the universe because studying humanity was anathema to his lofty vision of the world and beyond, such as the alchemical realm. Newton was keen on Aristotle’s theory of the 5th element on top of the earth, air, fire, and water – that is, space of aether. Methinks, Newton was trying to get Rosetta’s stone in manipulating the 5th element proposed by Aristotle. He had not known that it would have become such a magical element to turn stone to gold. Notwithstanding Newton’s beguiled ambition to be a perfect Gargamel with the help of Aristotle, so to speak, my appreciation of Aristotle’s metaphysical school of thought decides that his brilliance is brighter than Plato and on par with Socrate in the constellation of philosophers’ stars.

Posted in Miscellany

Leave the children out of it.

We tend to be ready and eager to put fingers on those in need as if the milk of human kindness is not fit for them because we don’t like them as we see them. Such is because humans are physical rather than rational, operating on optical illusions to create our versions of reality. The present migrant crisis in the border of Belarus and Poland manifests dominance of Id over Superego, the eclipse of Reason by the Sense, in the face of travails on both sides of narratives.

Migrants mainly from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan now fly to Belarus on tourist visas after paying from $1,000 to $4,000 to brokers and go-betweens in the high hope for a low heaven. They think their and their children’s lives are grim and dreary, with holistically low living quality in their home countries. So, they keep their eyes at the stars in West Europe’s firmament, scintillating bright futures despite the impending hostility toward their religious belief and cultural unfamiliarity. The frigid cold and the equally cold reception do not seem to overthrow the migrants’ will to catch Luck of Troy in Unfriendly Europe. On the contrary, it brings the grist for the mill of furious Belarus disaffected with the EU’s economic sanctions for its still Soviet-era Modus Operandi of the government. Belarus sends the influx of migrants to West Europe through the gate of Poland as an audacious manifestation of vengeance and anger.

The Polish government defends their territory against the unwelcome intruders, clenching the fists toward heaven that their predecessors bled for the Polish, not for the aliens. The good-hearted people in the border area who help needy migrants face backlash from their neighbors and often become subject to judicial harassment for humanity. In this traumatic atmosphere threatening even the most basic requirement for and right of survival, the presence of children is default to provoke sympathy used as an emotional gambit to win the game of chance – for either side. People should not use children to acquire their political or social demands because that is another form of exploitation of childhood, using the vulnerability of children for soliciting the need for however righteous the cause is.

Posted in book review

Letters on England by Voltaire

Letters on England by Voltaire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Voltaire’s Letters from England, originally published in 1733, is a solipsistic treatise on political, religious, and cultural observation during his stay from 1726 to 1729 of the benign nation that welcomed the thinker with open arms when he fled from persecution in his native France.

But the book is not a blinded paean to a rival country with a long sophisticated warring history with an intent to retribute his spites to his mother country as an expatriate. Instead, Voltaire takes a stance of a piqued paratactic storyteller in the fashion of Herodotus’s Histories or a trenchant journalist in the school of George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London. In Voltaire’s eyes, that the English are practical folk with a propensity for realism: reflective, respectful of etiquette, cool-headed, and effusively proponent of scientific discoveries are conspicuous in the overview effect of France seen across from the other side of the Channel.

From the manners of English Quakers to Isaac Newton’s (whom he admires as the brilliant sun of Halios) quantum physics and the law of the universe in great detail, the subjects of interest and the depth of knowledge demonstrate that Voltaire is more than a rebellious French enlightenment thinker. He is a true intellectual whose reason is constituted by the consilience of multidisciplinary subjects in depth. The book is a testament to a genius of a particular kind who embodies a man of letters in its truest sense.



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Posted in Miscellany

for whom the bell tolls

Watching the world leaders attending COP 26 and G20 vehemently discussing achieving the net-zero policy makes me wonder how Greta Thunberg can get away with her angry facial expressions and vitriolic remarks that would otherwise have been simply unpleasant. How powerful Greta Thunberg’s vehement narrative on her newfound purpose in life has become! Now the world leaders vow to her harmoniously, when they should know better as expensively educated men that the goal of net-zero carbon dioxide will require live human sacrifice and stultify the truth about carbon dioxide in its relationship with the earth.

To begin, you have to understand carbon dioxide is not evil but necessary to keep the appearance of this planet. The principal effect of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stimulates plan growth, aka the fertilization effect. Thanks to its grim colorful image of the reaper as a hazardous element, its function to make the green greener sounds cynically antonymous. Also, carbon dioxide warms the planet earth, lest it turns into a dwarf planet like Saturn with frozen lakes adumbrated with gas-filled clouds. Besides, only 1/6 of a degree per decade has been increased, the amount inconspicuously perceptible and critical to producing any apocalyptic effects on the earth’s surface. Thunberg and her comrades command that all nations achieve net-zero in carbon dioxide emissions, which means using fossil fuels, which is too costly for underdeveloped and developing countries to keep up with. The poor always remain poor because of this unfair authoritarian policy without regard to the national economic system and social situations forcefully measured in the Outrageous Bed of Procrustes. In effect, most pollution in the world comes not from Western Europe but from those countries where the industrial revolution was the counter-product of colonialism or communism. Therefore, if these countries strive for the net-zero goal, they will fall by the wayside of their social progress for the welfare of the people by spending the national treasure on achieving the pyrrhic goal.

I have never seen an aggressive environmental campaign such as this at present. Of course, climate irregularities have always existed, but humans have remarkable skills to adapt to new surroundings with the power to think as a bipedal species. Dostoevsky said we could get used to anything, even hanging. But the current seismic environmental zeal with the Swedish teenager seems more unpleasantly cataclysmic with her militant warrior approach. The matching ensemble of the haughty voice is heartless, laughing at how the famous and influential adults are fumblingly and funnily reacted to her like dolts. Could it be her ambition to prove herself to the world that despite her autism and want of beauty, she could become the most well-known and influential girl in the world? After all, even the women politicians and intellectuals fall in love and even marry. The whole scene reminds me of a teenager dissatisfied with herself venting her depression and anger with a holler from the rebels against the demands placed upon daily tasks of life. In William Golding’s dystopian juvenile literature Lord of the Flies, Jack, the antagonist, plays innocent along with his followers in the eyes of adults. Greta is the female version of Jack. And the world leaders at COP26 and G20 are the officers who rescued the band of children and boarded them on the ship, not knowing what would happen soon. But Greta has much more followers to her alter of Climate Catastrophism.